Dani Goes South.

tomatoes

Spaghetti with Roasted Tomato + Walnut Pesto, Lemony Basil Pesto, & Herbed Anchovy Breadcrumbs

Dinners, Pasta, SaucesDani ColombattoComment
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Currently, I’m sitting in my parents’ backyard in Boise with a prime view of some very cute duck families. I took a little “just because” trip to see my parents, sister, niece, and nephew, and it’s been lovely. Idaho is beautiful this time of year, and I’m just doing a lot of relaxing, eating the good foods, and drinking the good drinks. The Lord’s work, they call it. Just kidding.

On another note, I’ve mentioned my love of my little garden here before, but truly, it’s the best hobby I’ve ever started as an adult. When our tiny tomato seeds started to sprout, I was super skeptical about them turning into full, blossoming plants. Joke’s on me because they are getting crazy-tall, and sprouting tomatoes all over the place. I believe, at last count, I had 45 little, green tomatoes. That little garden ended up being so much more than we bargained for in the best way possible. It inspires me to be less of a plant/life skeptic and get in touch with my inner-optimist. One of the many great uses for a bounty of tomatoes is one of the two sauces we’re talking about today. That’s right, not one but two versions of pesto in one pasta because I can’t seem to leave well enough alone. These two sauces are so simple to throw together, and compliment each other perfectly. They’re also both amazing on chicken, fish, bruschetta, and more.

First, we have a roasted tomato and walnut pesto, which is a recipe I slightly tweaked from Bon Appetit and has been a top-tier favorite of mine since I saw it in one of their issues in 2016. It’s super fresh, and the walnuts lend this creamy factor that takes this pesto to the next level. This sauce stands alone, but I felt like giving it some extra herbaceous oomph. Tomatoes and basil have always been a great couple, why break ‘em up now? Our second pesto couldn’t be simpler, but what it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in brightness. Tons of fresh basil, lemon zest and juice, toasted walnuts, and the usual pesto suspects, garlic, parm, and of course, EVOO get all blended up for one delicious basil pesto with the perfect amount of fresh acidity.

The spaghetti gets tossed in the creamy roasted tomato and walnut pesto, then gets studded with dollops of the basil pesto, and topped with toasted, herbed anchovy breadcrumbs. Don’t bristle at the anchovy portion of the program (unless you’re veg, in which case, bristle away)- it really just lends a savory level of, for lack of a better term, umami. If you’re not into that, just toast them up with the butter and herbs, and finish with a good sprinkling of sea salt. Let’s get up to our eyeballs in pesto, shall we? Was that appetizing?

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Preheat your oven to 375, and to a sheet pan, and halve all but some of your cherry tomatoes (I usually leave the ones on the smaller side whole). Drizzle with olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes, until tomatoes have released some of their liquid, and the skin is beginning to blister. Add your walnuts to a dry pan, and toss over low heat until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.

While your tomatoes are cooking, make your breadcrumbs. to a food processor, add 2 slices of good bread, and pulse until coarse crumbs are formed. To a small frying pan, add 1 tbs olive oil + 1 tbs butter and heat over medium-low heat. Add 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and 2 inches of anchovy paste to your pan, and combine with the butter/oil. Add your breadcrumbs, along with your chopped thyme, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss over medium-low heat until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to trap excess oil.

Make your basil pesto. Add 1/3 c of your walnuts, along with the garlic to a blender or food processor. Pulse until the walnuts are very pulverized and beginning to release their oils. You’ll be able to tell, because they’ll start to slightly stick to the side of the bowl. Then, add your basil, lemon zest and juice, and a good pour of olive oil to get everything started. Pulse to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl/blender as needed. Once the mixture begins to combine, leave the blender/food processor running, and stream in olive oil until the pesto becomes a homogeneous mixture. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a bowl, and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Set aside until ready to assemble.

To make the roasted tomato-walnut pesto, we combine the garlic, the lemon zest, anchovy paste, red pepper flakes, and parmigiano in the blender. Pulse to combine. Then, add in all but about 1/2 cup of your roasted tomatoes, including their liquid in the pan, along with all but a couple tablespoons of the toasted walnuts (we are reserving a few to top our pasta), and blend to combine. Add in about a 1/3 c of olive oil, and blend until just combined. Set aside.

To a large pot of salted, boiling water, add your spaghetti, and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of your cooking liquid.

To a large pan, add your spaghetti, along with your roasted tomato and walnut pesto, tossing to combine, and coating with small amounts of the pasta cooking liquid as necessary, until the sauce coats all of the strands of spaghetti. Add your reserved roasted tomatoes, and toss once more. Add to the serving bowl of your choice, and top with tablespoon-sized dollops of your lemony basil pesto. Next, add a generous sprinkle of parmigiano, your reserved toasted walnuts, and torn basil leaves.

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The way the roasted tomato and walnut pesto coats the al dente spaghetti is downright luxury. The sweetness of the tomatoes really comes out when you roast them, and the other elements in the sauce lend the perfect savory compliment. The basil pesto makes the flavor of the tomatoes even more pronounced, and crunchy, herb-y breadcrumbs in every bite make this pasta incredibly hard to stop eating.

Here’s hoping your weekend plans include pasta. Mine include Disney movies with my niece (Fully have the “Gaston” song from Beauty & The Beast stuck in my head RN. Which, side-note, I heard someone say on a podcast is the song they sing to get “pumped up” which really made me laugh). We are also making a sartu di riso with my mom and sister. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a breadcrumb-coated bundt of risotto, partially filled with a really delicious tomato sauce and cheese. Essentially, arancini in bundt form. I’m very into it.

ANYWHO.

Make one, or both of these pesto beauties. They’re amazing alone, together, and on countless other dishes (Hot tip: they’re SO good on pizza). Make them ahead, place plastic wrap on the surface of sauce, cover, and freeze them. Then, thank yourself on an exhausting Monday later. Jar them and refrigerate for up to a week for a quick dinner or appetizer addition. You get the idea. Versatile sauces always win the day.

Spaghetti with Roasted Tomato + Walnut Pesto, Lemony Basil Pesto, + Herbed Anchovy Breadcrumbs

(4-5 servings)

Roasted Tomato + Walnut Pesto (Inspired by Bon Appetit)

1 lb spaghetti

2 dry pints cherry tomatoes, all but some halved

2/3 c, plus 2 tbs walnuts

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbs lemon zest

3” anchovy paste, or 2 oil-packed fillets, finely minced

2 tbs, plus 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

1/2 c parmigiano reggiano, finely grated, plus more for serving

1/2 c pasta water

Salt and pepper to taste

Lemony Basil Pesto

1 1/3 c basil

1/3 cup walnuts

1 clove garlic

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tbs lemon juice

1/3 c parmigiano reggiano, finely grated

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Herbed Anchovy Breadcrumbs

2 slices good bread

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2” anchovy paste

1 tbs butter

1 tbs oil

1 tbs freshly chopped thyme

Let's Eat Outside Pt. 3: Tomato-Basil Orrechiette Salad with Capers + Pine Nuts / Tiny Ciabatta Sandwiches with Roasted Eggplant, Peppers, Prosciutto, + Pesto Aioli

Dinners, Lunches, Salads, SandwichesDani ColombattoComment
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Sun's out, portable carbs out! Not really. It's currently raining and I'm wearing a sweatshirt that looks downright Christmassy. No matter! I'm a big-picture gal, and I love makin' plans. So let's plan our 3rd and final picnic (for now) in this little "Let's Eat Outside" series. Ready? The plan is there's no plan. There are easy sandwiches and a make-ahead pasta salad involved, but that's about all the planning this requires. Scratch that- you'll want to plan on finding some supah-crisp wine or beer to take on this little shindig. Not exactly a tall order, I know. 

I'm such a sucker for an Italian sammie. I don't know what it is, but Italians really love saying the phrase "good bread". Any occasion to insert this phrase into conversation, AND eat carbs, they are into it. I can say this because my dad was adopted by a 1st generation Italian immigrant when he was 2, so I was raised by the "good bread" people. In this application, said excellent carb is the base for caramelized roasted veggies, salty prosciutto, nutty provolone, spicy arugula, tart pickled onions, and herbaceous pesto aioli. Really, there isn't a vehicle you could put the aforementioned goods on top of and have it not come out amazing. Hell, have it deconstructed for all I care. Whatever you do, promise to have it alongside a simple tomato-basil pasta salad with toasty pine nuts, fresh parsley, and all the lemony vinaigrette. It's not a demand, just a gentle nudge in the "living your best life" direction. Let's hop to it, because this one's so easy, it'll be over before it begins! 

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Preheat your oven to 375F, and combine your sliced eggplant, and halved baby bell peppers on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15-17 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. While your veggies are roasting, make your pasta, and your pesto aioli, adding your aioli to the refrigerator once done. Whisk together your lemon vinaigrette, and set aside. 

Once your pasta is done, drain, and add to a bowl, immediately tossing with your lemon vinaigrette so it absorbs into the warm pasta. Add your cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and capers, tossing together once more. Wait to add your freshly chopped basil and parsley, and shaved Parmesan until you're ready to eat. You can leave this pasta salad out at room temperature if you're going to eat relatively soon, if not, wait for it to cool off, and add to the refrigerator. 

Once your vegetables are done roasting, assemble your sandwiches. There is truly no recipe here, simply top your ciabatta bread with a good amount of pesto aioli on each side, a couple slices each roasted eggplant and bell peppers, a slice or two of prosciutto and provolone, a handful of arugula, and a sprinkle of quick pickled onions. 

Wrap your baby sammies in a little parchment blanket, and top your orecchiette with your basil, parsley, and Parmesan, and you're ready to hit the road. Feel free to serve with some olives, and maybe even a little cheeseboard, but truth be told, these two make the perfect little picnic pair all on their own.

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I've started compiling a little summer wish list. We actually have a lot going on this coming season, so I'm making a concerted effort to be mindful of the little things- a huge one on this list is more picnics! While we are looking for a new space that hopefully has a cute outdoor area of it's own, for now, I'm going to park my booty and picnic basket every cute public place I can. Hopefully, while double-carbing, and avoiding mosquito bites. 

With that, I've got a beer, fajita nachos, and a kitchen of dirty dishes awaiting me. I really thought back when I didn't have a dishwasher that the never-ending revolving door of dishes from shoots would be less bad once I finally acquired one, but in reality, it's like I come up with reasons to use more dishes, as I no longer have to hand wash them. It's like I'm my own enemy, you guys!! Just throwing around ramekins and nesting bowls like detergent grows on trees!  Chaos, I tell you. One day, when I get it all right, I promise to share the secrets of my sorcery, because that's what I'm convinced a consistently clean kitchen takes- food profession or not. Pure. Sorcery. Byeeee! 

Tiny Ciabatta Sandwiches with Roasted Eggplant + Peppers, Prosciutto, & Pesto Aioli

1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut into roughly 3" x 5" pieces

1 eggplant, halved, and cut into 1/4" half-moons

1 dozen baby bell peppers, halved

1/2 lb thinly sliced prosciutto

1/2 lb thinly sliced provolone cheese

1 cup quick pickled onions 

3 cups arugula

Pesto aioli

For the Pesto Aioli:

1 cup good mayonnaise

3/4 cup of your favorite store-bought pesto

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salt & pepper to taste

For the Quick Pickled Onions:

1 onion, thinly sliced, & added to small bowl

Red wine vinegar, to cover onions

Sprinkle of salt & pepper

Tomato-Basil Orecchiette Salad

1 lb Orecchiette pasta

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

4 tbs capers

1 cup freshly chopped basil

1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley

1/4 cup shaved Parmigiano 

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 grated garlic clove

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Herb-Roasted Chicken with Croutons, Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon & Leeks

DinnersDani ColombattoComment
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What is more Friday dinner than roasted chicken? If you're asking Ina Garten, the answer would emphatically be, "Nothing!!!" (Also probably insert something about Jeffrey/also, "how easy is that?", etc). This recipe idea arrived while watching Barefoot Contessa during a little bout of cat insomnia. AKA my cat is apparently a Beverly Hills Real Housewife who will only eat 12 small meals a day, and he will LET YOU KNOW when it needs to happen. *snaps cat fingers* "Excuse me...Hun? When you get a minute..." That's what I imagine his inner dialogue is. So condescending... I would be more annoyed, but he is the cutest dang alarm clock. Like a fluffy little baby carrot...He's orange. I digress. Less cat more chicken!

Like I was saying, Ina inspired this recipe. I believe if you google the OG recipe it's called "Million Dollar Chicken", and it was conceptualized by a chef in NY. Since I'm not in a mood for butchery, and I don't own a blazing prehistoric oven, I adapted this little number to be SO easy, but it still feels Friday fancy, and dare I say, V-day approved.

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If you're a fan of all things caramelized, or have been known to be a sheet-pan-picker (I see you), this is ONE HUNDO made for your soul. Let's get into it. 

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Preheat your oven to 425F.

The goodness of this dish starts from the ground up. First, we lay a foundation of our baguette slices around the surface area of our cast iron skillet (If you don't have a cast iron, substitute a good, heavy-bottomed pan). Sprinkle your chopped leek and garlic cloves atop your bread. Next, season your chicken. In this application, I used 4 leg quarters, but I have made this dish with everything from a whole chicken, to a whole broken down chicken, to bone-in thighs and bone-in breasts. The key is to make sure whatever you're using is bone-in, because that is what helps retain a lot of the moisture, and with a bed of bread in a 425F oven, you'll want that moisture. 

Next, season your chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper, and freshly chopped rosemary. Place your chicken in an even layer atop your bread, leeks, and garlic. Next sprinkle in your halved cherry tomatoes, lemon slices, and thyme sprigs around any gaps in the pan. Add one final drizzle of olive oil around all of your veggies in your pan. 

For your basting mixture, melt 3 tablespoons butter on medium low, and add 1/4 cup dry white wine and a sprinkling of salt, if using unsalted butter. Brush onto chicken and veggies every 15 minutes. After your second baste, mix together 2 tablespoons creme fraiche, or sour cream, 3 tablespoons your white wine butter, and a slight sprinkle of salt and pepper. Remove the chicken, and lower oven to 375F. Brush your creme fraiche glaze onto your chicken, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until internal temperature registers 160F. 

The creme fraiche glaze is key because the milk solids help that chicken achieve a final, beautiful golden brown at the end of cooking. Throw together a lil' green salad if your heart so desires, and you are SO ready for this. 

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The thing that makes this so delicious is the way the white wine butter seeps into the chicken, and the butter and chicken juices soak into your croutons that get a beautiful crust on the bottom. The cherry tomatoes, lemons, and leeks get beautifully caramelized and charred. It's like chicken, stuffing, and vegetables all in one, but it feels decidedly more special. The most labor intensive part of this dinner is basting, and that's a flick of the wrist. Get this baby in your repertoire, stat, and be ready for a flood of compliments.

Roasted Lemon Herb Chicken with Croutons, Cherry Tomatoes, & Leeks

(Serves 4-5)

4 quartered chicken legs

1 baguette, sliced in about 3/4" slices

1 leek, chopped,

1 dozen cherry tomatoes, halved

5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1/2 a lemon, thinly sliced

2 sprigs rosemary, chopped

6 sprigs thyme

3 tbs butter

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 tbs creme fraiche, or sour cream

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Linguine with Sausage, Mushrooms, Asparagus, & Sage Breadcrumbs in a Sherry Tomato Sauce

Dinners, PastaDani ColombattoComment
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On those nights where I'm just NAT FEELIN' IT, you best believe I'm reaching for the pasta. In truth, I reach for the pasta on nights when I am feelin' it all the time, but when you're exhausted or in between grocery runs, it can really save the day. 

This dish feels particularly warm and cozy with Italian sausage, earthy mushrooms, crisp asparagus, and a tomato sherry sauce that is rich, but brings enough acidity to round everything out. Because we're throwing this together on a weeknight, and should be extra nice to ourselves, homemade sage breadcrumbs come together in a snap, and provide you with an addicting, herbaceous crunch. Once you start making your own breadcrumbs, you won't ever want to buy them again. Also, it's an answer to all the bread butts you probably throw away. You're welcome (Can I start a band called The Bread Butts? What would our genre be? Probably something kind of rustic and French...I'm sorry). I hope this pasta makes up for my dad jokes. 

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. While you're waiting on that to get going, make your breadcrumbs. In a food processor, combine 3 slices roughly torn bread, 6 sage leaves, and salt and pepper. Pulse until you've reached your desired texture. I like mine a little on the coarse side. In a frying pan, heat 3 tbs olive oil on medium, and add your breadcrumbs, tossing until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbs olive oil large skillet on medium-high, and add your sausage, until golden brown and cooked through, about 7-8 minutes. Add to a bed of paper towels to remove excess oil. To that same skillet, heat 1 tbs butter, and cook your mushrooms until golden brown, and set aside. Add your shallot and garlic to the pan, and saute about 1 minute, and de-glaze with your sherry. Add your tomato sauce, a splash of chicken stock, season with salt and a tiny pinch of crushed red pepper, and reduce to a low simmer. Allow your sauce to reduce by roughly a third, and cook your pasta. Add 1 tbs butter to your sauce, test for seasoning, and sprinkle with additional salt, if necessary.

 When your pasta is almost done cooking, add your asparagus to your sauce. You still want it crisp, and bright green, so you only want it took for about 2 minutes. Add your pasta directly from the water to your sauce, tossing to coat all your linguine. Finally, add your sausage and mushrooms back to your pasta, and toss everything to combine. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano, your sage breadcrumbs, fresh chopped parsley, and be super happy with yourself because you just cooked a v easy, comforting, satisfying dish, and it came together in less than an hour. 

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This linguine is deceptively light for how much richness is happening here. The sage and sausage are a time-honored combo, and the asparagus lends itself as a crisp counterpart to everything else. The tomato sherry sauce is so bright, flavorful, and on the sauce spectrum, easy as hell. File this linguine under weeknights where you are juuuuust about to throw in the towel, put on those comfy pants, and get in that kitchen. Love ya. You're doin' just fine. 

Linguine with Sausage, Mushrooms, Asparagus, & Sage Breadcrumbs in a Tomato Sherry Sauce

1 lb Linguine

3 Italian sausages, casings removed, crumbled into roughly 1-2" pieces

8 oz Baby Portobello or Crimini mushrooms

1 Bunch asparagus

For the Tomato Sherry Sauce

2 cups dry Sherry

1 cup tomato sauce

Splash chicken stock

1 Small shallot

2 Garlic cloves

1 tbs Butter

Pinch crushed red pepper

Handful fresh chopped parsley

For the Sage Breadcrumbs

3 Slices bread (I used leftover sourdough)

6 Sage leaves

3 tbs Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

*SIDE NOTE* How beautiful is that blue dish?!? Tina from Ren Vois Ceramics sweetly sent it to me, and I'm beyond in love with her pieces. Pretty sure you will be too. 

Salmon with Feta Herb Butter & Roasted Vegetable Couscous Salad (+ Easy Tzatziki)

Dinners, SeafoodDani ColombattoComment
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You know when salmon is really anticlimactic? It's almost like because it's a known fact it's sort of a healthier option, often times, I find the applications I encounter out in the wild kind of bland, or dry, or like someone swiped some maple syrup on it and called it a day. A little fact about me: not super into fish candy! 

There's a lot of bad blood surrounding seafood and dairy. I get it, it's a fine balance. I'm not going to slap some Kraft singles on a piece of sashimi-grade ahi (kind of made myself want to vom with that sentence, left it anyway), so let's all just slow our rolls, and keep an open mind, because this salmon is SO. GOOD.  The feta is balanced with cherry tomatoes, lemon, and tons of fresh herbs. The tomatoes soak up some of that butter situation, and the lemon brings so much brightness. The feta isn't the star, it's like the personal assistant to all the other high maintenance celebs in the parchment paper, making sure everyone shiiiiiiiines *Oprah voice*.

The vegetable-packed couscous is the perfect accompaniment to the salmon, with lots of roasted eggplant, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and the easiest vinaigrette. These two are sheet pan wonders, come together in a flash, and leave you feeling nourished and satisfied. The tzatziki isn't mandatory, but just like, do the right thing, and make it. Chalk it up to condiment karma. I don't know.

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As all compound butters do, this one starts with room temperature unsalted butter. Don't be like me, and think you can muscle through non-room temperature butter. It's not worth it, and you'll be annoyed. Smash and mince two garlic cloves. I like sprinkling mine with a little coarse sea salt and grinding them into a paste with the side of my knife. Add to your butter. Next, add the zest of one lemon, juice of 1/2 a lemon, your freshly chopped parsley, and dried oregano. Mash together with a fork (or in a food processor, if you wish), and then add your feta. Mix thoroughly to combine, and taste for seasoning. The feta has a good amount of salt, so I actually ended up adding the *tiniest* pinch, and some pepper. Spoon your butter out onto plastic wrap, and refrigerate until hard and slice-able.

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I was first introduced to tzatziki by my sweet aunt Steffi who hails from Germany. I was probably 7 or 8 at the time, and I believe we were having it with lamb on Christmas Eve. I was totally smitten, and it might be my favorite condiment sitch ever. I will never top hers (and totally need to get her recipe), but this one is a pretty good placeholder. If you're going to make this, only one caveat: make as early as you can and want to, because the longer it sits in the fridge, the better it gets. 

With a box grater, shred about a cup and a quarter of a large English cucumber. Wrap your shredded cucumber in 2-3 paper towels, and squeeze out all excess liquid. Next, smash and grind into a paste 2-3 garlic cloves (2 if they're really large), and add to your shredded cucumber. Next, add 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt. I used Greek, but I actually normally just go with plain, regular yogurt. However, I had just done an Amazon Prime order, and selected the wrong one, so...you get me. Next, add your lemon zest and juice, chopped dill. Taste for seasoning, and add your salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap, and put that puppy in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (I usually do mine at least a couple hours ahead).  

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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a pan toast your couscous, and add your boiling water and a tablespoon of olive oil, and salt. Cook per instructions, or about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover, and let sit 5 minutes. Add to a large bowl and set aside. Cut 1/2 an eggplant, and two zucchini into large chunks, and spread evenly on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with dried oregano, salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes (tossing everything after about 10 minutes), and remove from the oven. Add your cherry tomatoes, and drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside while you assemble your salmon. 

Season your salmon with salt, pepper, and a light sprinkle of dried oregano. Slice half a lemon, and halve 8-10 cherry tomatoes. Slice your feta butter, and place atop your salmon. Place your cherry tomatoes, and lemon slices around the salmon, and top with fresh chopped parsley. Give everything *the slightest* drizzle of olive oil (mainly around the tomatoes), close your parchment wrap into a little package, and place in your 400 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until your salmon is just cooked through. 

Add your roasted veg back to the oven, and let's make that vinaigrette. I added about 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar to a mason jar with the juice of half a lemon, 1 small shallot, chopped, 1/2 a teaspoon of dijon mustard, and about 6 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and shake until fully emulsified. If it's still too vinegar-y, add a splash more olive oil.  Add all your veggies to your cous cous, drizzle in your vinaigrette, and add a small handful of crumbled feta, and tons of chopped fresh parsley. 

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The feta butter lends the perfect, salty, bright, lemony background for tender salmon, and sweet cherry tomatoes. Just an additional PSA, this salmon is also really delicious on a Caesar. 

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The nutty, whole wheat couscous soaks up the vinaigrette, and makes for a really great vehicle for all of the caramelized veggies, and really cuts through the richness of the salmon. Additionally, it makes for a lovely little next-day lunch. 

Wishing you the best weekend, friends! What's on your to-do list? It's gloomy and cold here in Austin, but we've got house projects, and neighborhood walks on the brain. Also, I hear there's this thing called football going on? There's something Cleopatra comin' atcha on Monday to eat while other people...do sports? Cheers!

Salmon and Cherry Tomatoes in Feta Butter

1 Salmon filet (roughly 1-1 1/4 lbs.)

6 Tbs. unsalted butter

1/2 Cup crumbled feta

Zest of 1/2 lemon (or 1/2 tsp.)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 Garlic cloves, smashed, pureed

2 tbs. Fresh chopped parsley

1 tsp. Dried oregano

10 Cherry tomatoes

1/2 lemon, sliced

Roasted Vegetable and Cous Cous Salad

1/2 Eggplant, cubed

2 Zucchini, cubed

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 Package Israeli couscous (preferably whole wheat)

For the Vinaigrette

3 tbs. Red wine vinegar

6 tbs. Extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 small shallot, minced

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Easy Tzatziki

1 1/4 cups shredded English cucumber 

1 1/2 cups plain full fat yogurt

2-3 garlic cloves, smashed, pureed

4 large sprigs dill, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste